View Full Text: AI-Research-and-Development-Progress-Report-2016-2019.pdf

The United States national strategy for artificial intelligence (AI), the American AI Initiative, identifies research and development (R&D) as a top priority for maintaining global leadership in AI. The United States leads the world in AI innovation, due in large part to its robust R&D ecosystem. Federal agencies contribute significantly to AI innovation by investing in numerous world-class research programs in areas consistent with the unique missions of each agency.

This 2016–2019 Progress Report on Advancing Artificial Intelligence R&D (“2016–2019 Progress Report”) documents the important progress that agencies are making to deliver on Federal AI R&D.

Guiding Federal research investments is the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan: 2019 Update (“2019 Plan”), which builds upon the 2016 version of the Plan. The 2019 Plan articulates eight national AI R&D strategies:

Strategy 1: Make long-term investments in AI research.

Strategy 2: Develop effective methods for human-AI collaboration.

Strategy 3: Understand and address the ethical, legal, and societal implications of AI.

Strategy 4: Ensure the safety and security of AI systems.

Strategy 5: Develop shared public datasets and environments for AI training and testing.

Strategy 6: Measure and evaluate AI technologies through benchmarks and standards.

Strategy 7: Better understand the national AI R&D workforce needs.

Strategy 8: Expand public-private partnerships in AI to accelerate advances in AI.

This 2016-2019 Progress Report highlights AI research first by strategy, then by sector, with subsequent supporting details describing individual agency contributions that provide a whole-of-government overview. The diversity of programs and activities reflects the remarkable breadth and depth of Federal investments in AI. This report highlights not only the broad themes of Federal R&D but also provides illustrative examples in sidebars that highlight individual agency AI R&D breakthroughs that advance the state of the field.

Taken as a whole, the 2016-2019 Progress Report conveys the following key messages:

  • The Federal Government is investing in a considerable breadth and depth of innovative AI concepts that can transform the state of the field.
  • The United States benefits significantly from the broad spectrum of Federal agencies that invest in AI from their unique mission perspectives, consistent with the national AI R&D strategy.
  • Federal investments have generated impactful breakthroughs that are revolutionizing our society for the better.

Collectively, the investments described in this report demonstrate how the Federal Government leverages and improves America’s AI capabilities through R&D and ensures that those capabilities are increasing prosperity, safety, security, and quality of life for the American people for decades to come.